Southwest Egg Rolls (Air Fryer Recipe!)

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Flavor-packed Southwest Egg Rolls are healthier than most egg rolls because we make them in an air fryer! No air fryer? No worries, I’ll share some other ideas to still get all the goodness these egg rolls provide.

These egg rolls are packed with tasty ingredients — tender rotisserie chicken, savory black beans, crisp corn, and other Southwestern-spiced veggies. Plus, I have a recipe for the best creamy cilantro sauce to use as a dip or to drizzle over top.

Flavor-packed Southwest Egg Rolls are healthier than most egg rolls because we make them in an air fryer! No air fryer? No worries, I'll share some other ideas to still get all the goodness these egg rolls provide.

Southwest Egg Rolls

I am so excited to share Southwest Egg Rolls with you! As much as I enjoy fried food, it doesn’t seem to agree with me all that often. That’s a total bummer when you’ve got an obsession with fried egg rolls. 

And that explains why I have been hooked on my air fryer. It lets me enjoy all the delicious crispiness and texture without all the oil and heaviness! Plus it’s so much easier (and cleaner!) to use than a deep fryer or a pot of oil. 

Southwest Egg Rolls are a great use of Instant Pot or slow cooker Black Beans. We love making the beans at the beginning of the week and using leftovers in recipes throughout the week– like these egg rolls.

What are Southwestern Egg Rolls?

These aren’t any ordinary egg rolls — they’re loaded with flavors and textures! We start by using egg roll wrappers (which are paper-thin sheets of dough) that will get ultra-crispy in the air fryer. Those egg rolls are packed with rotisserie chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeño, onion, bell pepper, and a quick seasoning blend. Beyond that filling, we also add in some sour cream for creaminess and a combination of extra-sharp Cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses.
 
While the egg rolls are getting nice and crispy, we whip together a quick cilantro-lime sauce for dipping or drizzling. Are you completely sold on this recipe yet?! We can’t get enough of them!

Process shots: Sauté onions and peppers; add seasonings and continue cooking; add beans, corn, cilantro, lime juice and chicken; mix well to combine.

How to roll an egg roll

  • Set out the egg roll wrappers on a clean surface to look like a diamond facing you.
  • Add the Southwest Egg Roll fillings (sour cream, filling, and cheese) to the bottom third of the egg wrapper.
  • Dip your finger into a small bowl of water and then run your finger along the edges of the egg wrapper.
  • Fold the bottom up over the filling.
  • Then fold the left and right corners in to the center (like an envelope).
  • Tightly pressing the filling in, roll up the egg roll like a cylinder. (Roll tightly — if any of the filling is exposed, it will leak out in the air fryer).
  • Here’s an overview image collage of rolling an egg roll

Process shots: set out egg roll wrappers, spread on sour cream; add filling; combine and add cheeses; fold up bottom, brush water around edges; fold in corners; tightly roll and continue with the remaining wrappers.

Southwest Egg Rolls FAQs

1What is in Chili's Southwest egg rolls?

These egg rolls are similar to restaurant-style appetizers, but we like them even better! The Southwestern egg rolls at Chili’s has chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeño, Jack cheese, red peppers, and spinach. The egg rolls are served with an avocado-ranch dipping sauce.

If you’d like to make this recipe more like Chili’s, I’d recommend replacing the Monterey Jack cheese with pepper jack cheese and replacing the green pepper with a red pepper.

2Can you roll egg rolls ahead of time?

Yes! That is one of my favorite things about making egg rolls. They can be prepared and assembled up to a day in advance and then cooked in the air-fryer right before you’re ready to eat! Simply prepare the recipe up until the frying part; place the prepared egg rolls on a parchment paper-lined plate. Cover the plate tightly and place in the fridge until ready to cook.

3How do you keep egg rolls crispy after frying?

One of the other bonuses of using an air fryer is that the egg rolls stay much crispier for longer (as opposed to deep frying the egg rolls).
That said, here are a couple of tips to keeping them crispy:
  • Right out of the air fryer, use tongs to transfer the fried egg rolls onto a wire cooling rack.
  • Don’t let the egg rolls cool on a plate or paper towel as this will make them less crispy.
  • Only fry what will be eaten. Once fried, Southwest Egg Rolls don’t stay crispy very long. Store any leftovers un-fried in the fridge and then fry them when ready to enjoy.

4What goes with egg rolls?

Salads, roasted veggies, or even a side of fruit will add some vibrancy (and greens) to these egg rolls. Below are some of our favorite side dishes for these Southwest egg rolls:

5Where can you buy egg roll wrappers?

No need to pay a visit to a specialty store; most grocery stores carry egg roll wrappers. They are usually found in the cooler section with fresh fruits and vegetables. They can be easy to miss, so use a store-locator app if you have one! These are the egg roll wrappers most accessible to me and what I typically use.

Southwest Egg Roll Tips

  • Keep the egg roll wrappers tightly covered right up until using them. They dry out quickly and will crack and crumble if they’re left out of the packaging for long.
  • We use light or fat-free sour cream. It’s a great way to save some calories and fat while still getting that great flavor and creaminess. Of course, regular sour cream works well too!
  • If you’re in a time crunch, these egg rolls are still delicious without the sauce. Alternatively, the sauce can be prepared ahead of time to make dinner prep a bit quicker.
  • Use freshly grated cheese. Pre-grated cheese has a cellulose coating that results in a greasier/clumpier cheese filling that can become slightly grainy.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer. Place egg rolls in so they have a bit of space in between — don’t overlap or layer them for ultimate crispiness.

Process shots: spray all sides of the eggroll with cooking spray; make cilantro-lime dipping sauce; remove egg rolls from the air fryer and serve.

Don’t have an air fryer?

  • Deep fry instead. These egg rolls can be deep-fried instead of air fried. Set a pan to heat with about an inch of canola or vegetable oil. Heat to 325 degrees F and once it’s reached the temperature, add 3-4 egg rolls at a time. Rotate to evenly brown (~2 minutes per side) and once they are browned all over, remove them to a cooling rack (with a paper towel placed underneath). 
  • Bake instead. Spray all sides of the egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, flipping at the halfway point, or until lightly browned. (They don’t get super-crispy when baked.)
  • Make them into a quesadilla or burrito instead. Fill up large tortillas with the fillings and roll them up tightly (or form into a quesadilla). Heat a large griddle or nonstick skillet to medium heat. Once hot, spray all sides of the wraps with cooking spray and place seam side down into the pan or griddle. Cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-4 minutes. Flip with tongs and cook for another 2-4 minutes or until golden and crisp. The filling should be hot and cheese melted. Serve with sauce and any other desired toppings.

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Southwest Egg Rolls

4.5 from 2 votes
Flavor-packed Southwest Egg Rolls are healthier than most egg rolls because we make them in an air fryer! No air fryer? No worries, I'll share some other ideas to still get all the goodness these egg rolls provide.
Print Recipe

Southwest Egg Rolls

4.5 from 2 votes
Flavor-packed Southwest Egg Rolls are healthier than most egg rolls because we make them in an air fryer! No air fryer? No worries, I'll share some other ideas to still get all the goodness these egg rolls provide.
Course Appetizer, Drinks, Main Course
Cuisine American, Healthy
Keyword Southwest Egg Rolls, Southwestern Egg Rolls
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 4 servings (12-14 egg rolls)
Calories 508kcal
Cost $5.90

Ingredients

Egg Rolls

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (60g) diced green pepper (1/2 pepper)
  • 1/2 cup (65g) diced yellow onion (1/2 onion)
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeño (seeds and ribs removed)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder (we use McCormick which is very mild)
  • Fine sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 cup (155g) diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup (180g) black beans drained and rinsed (See Note 1)
  • 1 cup (160g) frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1-1/4 cup (100g) freshly grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/4 cup (100g) freshly grated Monterey jack cheese (or use more sharp cheddar)
  • 12-14 teaspoons Sour cream (lite or fat-free is great)
  • 12-14 refrigerated egg roll wrappers and water to seal the edges
  • Olive oil cooking spray

OPTIONAL: Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juiced and 1/4 teaspoon lime zest (~1-2 limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup (7g) loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced jalapeño
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream (lite or fat-free is great)

Instructions

  • PREP: For quicker prep, chop the pepper, onion, jalapeño, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Alternatively, finely chop all these ingredients. Dice the chicken, drain and rinse the beans (See Note 1).
  • SAUTE: Add the olive oil to a large cast iron skillet and heat to high. Add in the diced pepper, diced onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender about 5-7 minutes. Add in all the seasonings: the cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low.
  • FINISH FILLING: Add in the diced rotisserie chicken, black beans, corn, cilantro, and lime juice. Stir to heat through, 1-2 minutes and then remove from heat. Meanwhile, grate the cheeses. Combine the cheese in a bowl and mix with your hands to incorporate.
  • FILL THE EGG ROLLS: Set out the egg roll wrappers on a clean surface to look like a diamond facing you. Smooth 1 heaping teaspoon sour cream on the bottom third of the wrapper. Top with 3 packed tablespoons of the filling. Add 2 packed tablespoons of cheese on top. Dip your finger into a small bowl of water and run your wet finger along the edges of the egg wrapper. Fold the bottom up over the filling Then fold the left and right corners in to the center (like an envelope). Tightly pressing the filling, roll the egg roll like a cylinder. (If any of the filling is exposed, it will leak out in the air fryer.) Repeat with the remaining filling and egg wrappers until all are filled. (We typically get 13 total egg rolls, using up all the filling and cheese.)
  • AIR FRY: Spray all sides of all the egg rolls with olive oil cooking spray. Rub that spray evenly on all sides of the egg rolls. Layer egg rolls on the shelves in the air fryer so none are touching. (If your air fryer doesn't have shelves, just put as many as you can fit in the basket so none are overlapping) Bake at 370 degrees F for 5 minutes. Flip and bake for another 5 minutes. Flip once more and bake another 2-3 minutes or until egg rolls are crispy and golden brown. (Air fryers cook differently so just watch closely at the end and remove once the egg rolls are crispy all over.) Remove and let cool slightly before digging in.
  • OPTIONAL CILANTRO-LIME SAUCE: Add all of the sauce ingredients to a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste (I add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper) and blend or pulse until smooth. Serve alongside cooked egg rolls.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: This recipe is part of my series using instant pot/slow cooker black beans and the beans are amazing in these egg rolls!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 579mg | Potassium: 774mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3228IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 329mg | Iron: 3mg

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